Thursday, April 23, 2009

Orange Blossoms

You know, the Valley and Fresno take a lot of heat (get it? Fresno....heat...yeah, I almost died laughing too. Anywhoo...) from glamorous southern and northern California for a variety of snotty reasons. Whatever. But you know what the Valley has that just can't be beat this time of year? The fragrant smell of orange blossoms in the air on a warm evening. It's sweet smell takes me back to summer drives at night as a teen, when life was still wide open before me, and it is one of the things that reminds me the Valley is, indeed, home.

Compromise vs. Reality

A thought occurred to me today re: compromise vs. reality. It was a simple thought really, and the thought was this: we stop looking at things as a 'compromise' once we accept 'reality'. I've had many a conversation where folks have said "I refuse to compromise and will hold out until I get exactly what I want." Then they go about living a rather insane life of repeating the same behavior, i.e. chasing perfection and idealizing others to falsely fit into the image of perfection, only to be disappointed over and over again once the 'reality' (nothing is perfect) has set in. Then they repeat the same behavior and expect a different result (the very definition of insanity). I think we've all been guilty of this behavior at various points in our lives, and maybe the only thing that makes any of us different from another is if and when we learn the difference between compromise and reality. Reality IS compromise. Nothing is perfect...everything is flawed. When we learn that to seek perfection (another way of saying 'refuse to compromise') is a fruitless endeavor, and we learn to accept the reality that compromise is what leads to satisfaction, I think we can truly start to learn happiness. There is no way we will ever get everything we want, and no one person can be all things to another. But once we can accept the reality that people have flaws, just as we ourselves do, and we accept those flaws for the trivial things they may be, we can see the value that the truly good people in our lives have to offer, and maybe, for the first time, truly appreciate them for the special people they are...even though we had to 'compromise' to see and finally feel it. What can I say? Reality suddenly seems much more exciting than fantasy, and isn't that as it should be?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quick Follow-Up

So I took my daughters to Claim Jumper. For those of you not familiar with Claim Jumper, Claim Jumper is a restaurant chain that serves food in 13lb., 14,000 calorie portions...and I always walk, ok, crawl, out of there in a near food coma swearing I may never eat again. You get the idea. So, anywhoo, tonight I told myself I was going to pare it back and eat a lighter, smaller portion in order to avoid the food hangover that always comes with a Claim Jumper meal. So I had 1) a cup of tortilla soup, and 2) their California citrus salad. Oh, and one, ONE, mozarella cheese stick. Thats it. And you know what? Yep. Total food coma...from a salad. You know, all I can figure is that somehow Claim Jumper infuses their lettuce with heavy cream and bacon bits or something. Or maybe they managed through the miracle of science to deep fry their soup. I dunno. But I've never before had a salad that made me want to lay down until about, oh, the middle of July.

Now What?

I have come to realize that much of the time the only reason why I post anything at all is an attempt at sharing an amusing thought or two. Normally, I try and avoid 'deep and meaningful' topics because I figure 'who the hell cares whats going on in my noggin'?', but lately I've posted a few...and I've wondered why. Now, I think I know. I'm just not that angry right now. I think anger fuels a lot of humor (they say stand up comedians are generally some of the unhappiest and angriest people you could want to meet), and my lack of it has left me sort of...mellow and reflective. I do have the occasional traffic rant, or I can rhapsodize about the service at Starbucks, but really, those rants are played out and how long can I go on bitching about it (well, forever if I let myself)? Traffic sucks, and Starbucks service is occasionally slow. There. Topic covered...forever. Moving on.

Thing is, I am a funny guy (according to the people I meet), but I find lately that any humor I have to share is in the context of a real time conversation, because that is a real and (generally) positive experience full of good energy. A rant or screed here is, truth be told, carrying around a bucket of bile all day long until I get here and vomit it forth in some sort of passionate invective. What a great way to have a miserable day, you know? To carry that around until I get home to a computer? Feh...I just don't have the energy for that anymore...or the desire, and I feel better for it. However, having said that, the blogs have suffered. What to do....what to do...

Actually, I have no idea, but here's a few thoughts that jumped into my head I'll share here for lack of anything better to write about:
1. Whenever a woman tells me she's going to go get a 'facial', I have an overwhelming urge to laugh maniacally at the sheer joy at her obliviousness to how perverse that sentence sounds.
2. Ditto with every time I go to the supermarket and see the word 'pork-butt'. To me, that sounds like a command given by the director of a pornograhic film to his male star who has limited command of the English language.
3. You can figure out with 90% accuracy if a person is somebody you want to engage in any sort of relationship with just by the contents of their iPod. Multiple Mariah Carey tracks? We will not be hanging out...
4. I have come to realize that women MAY be drinking MORE than men now. Whenever I go out, its the women who are shitfaced hammered and out of control. Congratulations ladies, you have now achieved equality in the ability to make poor drunken decisions too. Enjoy...and please stop spilling your drinks on me.
5. As a man, you have to admit once in a while there are just some guys who are cooler than you'll ever be...Clive Owen is one of those guys...Rob Dickinson too. The bastards.
6. I am sadly lacking an object of lust. As a college aged lad, it was Winona Ryder. Then later Kelly MacDonald (loved the accent too). Then...nothing. Its sad really. Who do I fantasize about now? I now find myself far more interested and turned on by real women...flaws and all. Is that what happens when you're staring at turning 40? You accept reality and....well....embrace it? Wheres the fun in that???????

OK, promised my daughters I'd take them out to dinner, so off I go...but just felt like writing a little something, and this hit the spot almost as good as a small cappuccino.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Progress Not Perfection

It always seems for me progress is not an even and smooth ascention. It is a bumpy road of fits and starts, two steps back for three steps forward, and the occasional backslide followed by the releasing epiphany. Additionally, one can know, and one can feel, but nothing happens until one gets the head and the heart on the same page. But when things are truly right and proper, its amazing just how RIGHT and anxiety free it feels. Oddly enough, several different people have told me this week I seem different, and am projecting a relaxed and positive energy. Maybe that's what letting go really feels like. Then again, maybe its just getting some exercise, plenty of fiber, and drinking lots of water. Either way....score.


A thought occurred to me as I drove between The Bay Area and Sacramento today. And that thought was this: people are really horrible drivers. I mean, they really, really suck. As in, they suck to the point of it indicating some kind of deficient brain function. So, to sum up: they suck, and they're stupid. Got it? Good. As these thoughts on humanity swirled around my head as I drove and witnessed the act of one high functioning retard after another engage in the poetic dance that is Bay Area traffic, another thought occurred to me: If it is a given fact that people are completely retarded, then it stands to reason that it is an ABSOLUTE MIRACLE they don't immediately crash as soon as they leave their driveway, much less enter the freeway. Think about it. I was surrounded by hundreds of people operating two ton death machines hurtling down the road at 100 ft. per second who possessed no more mental acuity than a simple planarian, and yet, they were managing not coming together in one huge fireball of twisted metal reminescent of the final scenes of The Road Warrior. And then it struck me. Miracles ARE all around us, and I was witnessing an act of a power higher than myself. So there you go. So the next time you start to get pissed off at the dumbass in the car next to you on the road, yet you see that they manage to continue to drive down the road with their head completely up their ass and, amazingly enough, NOT CRASH, just smile, and feel the joy of witnessing a miracle, and feel the wonder of the universe embrace you...and then flip them off.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Vision of the Apocalypse

I've seen the end of the world and it goes something like this: narcissism and self absorption has become so epidemic in modern society that I can see a day very soon where the world is crumbling, people will be rioting in the streets for food, all disease has become resistant to all known medicines, corporations will have enslaved the remaining few who have any stamina or health for labor, and as all this rages around, people will still tightly clutch a salvaged piece of razor sharp broken mirrored glass in their bleeding (yet oblivious to their wound) hand and hold it up to their face and ask: How does my hair look?

Monday, April 6, 2009


“If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”-Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men

It’s not very often I quote lines from movies or seek truth in fiction, but this one line penned by Cormac McCarthy I found particularly powerful in its truthful simplicity. The majority of my life I held fast to some very rigid ideas, rules, opinions, judgments, and philosophies. I thought of them as gospel. I really couldn’t see life as being any other way, and was steadfast in my belief of my “rightness”. And if life didn’t agree with these ideas of mine? Then I would attempt to bend and subjugate life to fit within these parameters (how’s that for arrogance?). And yet, I felt a significant amount of dissatisfaction in my life, but never thought about it much because I figured that is just how life is…dissatisfying. And then one day recently, it just struck me, almost as if my whole life was leading to this point, that life doesn’t have to be like this. Life is neither good nor bad, it just simply “is”. The “rules” I had so slavishly obeyed were serving no purpose in any kind of spiritual or emotional advancement. I felt very much “stuck”. Now, these rules were not just made up for no purpose at all, as they had more than a tangential* relationship for maintaining my (relative) sanity growing up in a difficult environment. But now, as an adult, they had long since outlived their usefulness, and were now quite a hindrance in my life. So, hence the quote. Funny thing though, once you strip away all that baggage, what do you have left? Especially if you learn to let go of some of the anger? A bit of a blank canvas I think, and one I’m beginning to add some new color to…a color other than blue. Funny thing about a blank canvas, it doesn’t necessarily equate happiness (which truly, only comes from within), but it DOES equate a loss of UN-happiness…which is a start. Plus, with a blank canvas, even known experiences seem new again, and life seems to have a bit more flavor and vibrancy…and perhaps I'm finally ready to experience life for the first time. Call it an acceptance of the "is"...

Here’s a joke for you nerdy types I made up the other day. “Want to know the problem with Stoics? They can never decide on a restaurant.” Well, it made me laugh…


*My favorite word for the last 24 hrs. Just popped into my head and I decided it was going to be worked into the blog somehow because it was just too cool